Friday, July 27, 2012

Neon Ruffians and New Nail Shape!

Notice anything different about me (other than my bangin' manicure)? I decided to try oval-shaped nails for a while and see how I like them. Before I started growing my nails out a couple years ago, my nails were oval-shaped because I just trimmed (or bit) them down to the nail bed and my nail bed is naturally oval-shaped. They weren't an intentional, graceful oval shape though, they were just ragged and ugly! Anyway, I was constantly breaking the corners of my rectangular-shaped nails and having to cut them down and file them to get them to be even again, so I thought I'd try a new shape and see how it works for me. I didn't really like the shape at first but now it's growing on me! And I haven't broken a nail so far!

Anyway, for my first mani with my new nail shape I thought I'd try something that would emphasize the oval-ness. I did a neon ruffian manicure using hot pink and orange! On my thumb and ring fingers, which were my accent nails, I did two coats of Revlon Tulip, a nice hot pink. On my other fingers, I did two coats of OPI A Roll in the Hague, a bright reddish orange. After my base color dried, I used the opposing color to create the "ruffian" style. It's pretty easy to do because you basically paint the second color like you would paint your nail normally, following the curve of your cuticle, just up a little higher! I did two coats of the second color too, just to make sure I didn't have any patchiness.

What shape do you prefer your nails in? What do you think of the ruffian manicure style?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Turquoise Gemstones

I am so unbelievably in love with this mani, you guys. I love turquoise - the color, yes, but also the gemstone. I saw this mani on the Tumblr Fuck Yeah Nail Art, and I fell in love. It looks just like turquoise! I had already been wearing two coats of L'Oreal Gorgeous Gold, an AMAZING (seriously amazing, guys, I should've taken a picture of it just by itself) gold metallic with medium gold hex glitters, for a day or two, and I thought it would be the perfect base to try this turquoise mani with.

I did a little variation on the technique used by Topcoat It. Here's what I did: I painted one coat of China Glaze For Audrey over Gorgeous Gold. Working one nail at a time, before For Audrey dried, I pressed a crumpled piece of plastic wrap over my nails to create some texture, like I thought a turquoise gemstone should have. Then I let all my nails dry. I then took some q-tips and filled my nail polish remover cap with some acetone-based remover. I dipped it very quickly so it didn't soak up too much remover, then I rubbed it gently over my nails. I rubbed harder on certain spots to get the gold to peek through just where I wanted it. After doing this on all my nails I finished with a glossy topcoat!

I absolutely love how this looks, although I think it would look even more like a real turquoise gemstone if I used a grayer base. Something like OPI Number One Nemesis (the Chanel Graphite dupe) would look awesome. I also think that using a glitter or metallic base makes it easier to rub away your top color without accidentally removing your base color because they are harder to remove. I think with any other color combination this might end up looking like crackle polish, so if you like that look but don't want to spend the money on a crackle polish or are frustrated that you can't get it to crack the way you want, you might try this. What do you think?

I'm back! With another gradient!

Hi folks! Sorry for the unexpectedly long hiatus - we moved at the beginning of the month, and when the cable guys came to install the internet, they discovered that the wires they needed were nowhere to be found in our building! So they have to come and physically install these wires in order provide their service to our building. That is going to take another few weeks!!! I've been going to Starbucks almost every day to do my homework, but the outlets there are a precious commodity and I'd feel bad hogging them to post pictures of my fingernails on the internet. Luckily, our upstairs neighbors were nice enough to give us their WiFi password over the weekend, so I'm back online!

I've amassed a bit of a collection of pictures to post while I was gone, but I'll start with the last ones I took at our old place. This is my favorite gradient I've done so far!

I started with two coats of China Glaze Electric Beat, a bright periwinkle blue. Then using a makeup sponge, I dabbed China Glaze Flying Dragon on the tips to create a gradient. (Check out this gradient tutorial for a good explanation of the process.) Flying Dragon is one of the most amazing polishes I've ever seen and I can't believe I never noticed it on the display before, as I think it's permanent. It's a bright, almost neon, reddish purple with chunky purple and blue shimmer in it! I can't wait to wear it on its own because I think the neon-ness will come out more.

I love the way Electric Beat brings out the blue shimmer of Flying Dragon. Unfortunately I took these photos after a couple days so the tips are a little worn, but I still think this mani is absolutely gorgeous. I've got to do another gradient mani soon!